So yesterday, June 4th 2013, the Education Amendment Act 2012 was passed and charter schools became legal in New Zealand. Nice work.
It was a good move to get your pal Catherine Isaac to chair the panel so they could ignore all advice and submissions and push them through. Clever.
And a big high five for getting The Maori Party to fall for it. Hahahaha, I did have a good titter at that one.
So funny that they forgot that you said quite proudly on TV that “If we continue the bankrupt response of just paying young Polynesian, young Maori men in South Auckland the dole to sit in front of TV, smoke marijuana, watch pornography and plan more drug offending and more burglaries, then we’re going to have them coming through our windows regardless of whether we live in Epsom or anywhere else in greater Auckland.”
Pfffst, it’s not your fault if they forget stuff like that.
Anyway, I’ve heard that every Maori or Polynesian man in South Auckland is stoked to hear you are so keen to save them, so let’s get cracking and set up this school.
The John Banks School for Errant Maori and Polynesian South Auckland Lads (Ltd)
Now I know what you’re thinking, John. You’re worrying that you don’t have any background in education. But it’s okay – you don’t have to been trained in education to run or work in charter schools. No, nothing at all. You just have to convince the panel to say yes to your plan, and seeing as we’ve got Catherine and Hekia in our pockets, we’re in!
Lucky that, eh John?
You can make up your own curriculum, your own school day and term times, hire some warm bodies to pretend to be teachers, and make a killing!
I’m thinking we could just print some lesson plans off the internet and get nice looking people to teach those. That should be quite cheap.
The poor South Auckland lads will never notice, anyway – far too drugged up. No it’s true, I heard a prominent politician say so on TV.
Oh yes, John, there really is!
We get a nice handout from the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up the premises – and we don’t have to return a red cent of it if we close the school. Bonza.
I think we should maybe choose one of those well kitted out schools in Christchurch that are about to become available. I’ve heard one of them has a $1 million plus upgrade just 2 years ago, and I bet we can get it mega cheap. We can always say we don’t want them just sitting there like those schools in Invercargill, eh?
What else? Well the students will be funded as decile 3, and the funding for things like special needs and ICT won’t have to be spent on those things so we can with that whatever we like! We don’t need to bother with those pesky tricky things Dyslexia or Autism or speaking Te Reo or Samoan or anything. Yeah, nah, just filter out anyone hard to teach like lots of the US charters do, and we can keep the cheaper kids. The public system can get the more difficult ones back – that’ll be a hoot. Take that trained teachers. Hahaha.
Oh lord, I just thought, what if we get hungry kids? Can you get your staff to whip up some eggs bene for them to share? No? Oh man, well best get that Weetbix lined up, then. But still send the eggs – we claim that on expenses. I doubt we would we have to declare it, eh?
Ooooh I’ve had another great idea… We could hire ABBA to teach the kids. Oh, no, sorry I got a bit off track there.
This is what I was really thinking. Maybe we could call this principal in the UK who used school money to hire her mates, claimed expenses more than once from different organisations, gave contracts to businesses she was close to, and used funds to pay for taxis costing well over $6000. She’d be able to give us tips for making the most of those tax dollars!
It’s okay, we can do all that and everyone will still think we are fabulous. I mean to say, that teacher was named head teacher of the year at the 2007 Teaching Awards and appointed CBE, so all good, I’ll get our people to talk to her people.
If she’s unavailable, we could call the Charter Schools guys who conned US$17 million of taxes from Oregon. They were even more cunning because they pretended their schools were not for-profit (aww bless their faux charitable socks) and “ran a chain of taxpayer-funded charter schools under the guise of a nonprofit named EdChoices, “submitted false, incomplete and misleading records about how many students were enrolled in the schools and how they were spending the state’s money.” ” Cunning.
What if we’re rumbled?
No, don’t worry about what to do if we’re caught out. When charter school fraudsters are investigated they don’t hang about. Once the cash cow is rumbled we can just close the school like these guys. It’ll leave students and teachers with nowhere to go, but overheads gone! Easy!
We would be investigated, but you could nudge the police not to investigate this one, either. You seem to be good at that.
Try not to be like these guys, who get caught AND prosecuted, though…
Man alive! Google threw me 2.8 million hits for “charter school fraud” so we’d have to be careful in case anyone is onto this scam.
But no, no, don’t think about that – if anyone tries to get the facts out we can just say it’s all daft leftie mudslinging and get our mate Seal Meat to bash them on his blog.
It’ll be fine – just think of the money!
So what do you think, Banksy? Shall we do it? You and me?
The John Banks School for Errant Maori and Polynesian South Auckland Lads (Ltd) ?
When the blogger, Imperator Fish asked in a blogpost headlined – Did You Vote For Charter Schools? – he wasn’t just using a catchy title. He was raising a valid point.
Nowhere on the ACT website is Charter Schools mentioned in any of their policies.
Not. A. Word.
Instead, ACT’s education policy page mentions the usual waffle about “more choice” and some disturbing rhetoric about “the benefits of making education more market-like and entrepreneurial” (1), and principals setting salary for teachers “like any other employer” (4) …
(It’s a bloody good article and well worth the read.)
Don’t be fooled, people.
While they catch our attention by outraging us with sycophantic statements and with pasta-based trivialities,they distract us from the real issue which is that they are systematically undermining our education system at every level.
Get informed and have your say.
No to charters, no to untrained teachers, no to league tables and National Standards, and no to giving our kids 2nd best.
You only have until January 22nd to get it done.
Just how utterly incompetent (not to mention offensively rude) (oh and dodgy) does someone have to be to be ousted into the netherworld by John Key?
Oh wait, they have kept Banksy around, so that answers that question.
Seriously though, Hekia Parata has presided over a disastrous year in education. I’m not talking about policies here – I mean, any Education Minister will hit resistance not matter what, and despite me and millions of others thinking she is on the wrong track with Charter Schools and what not, I am thinking now of the way in which she has managed things.
The technology teachers/class sized debacle in May was just the start. I mean, really, how can such a huge and serious change be proposed without the facts and figures being checked? That we a total embarrassment and made the Ministry of Education looks ridiculous.
Then there was the impending closure of Salisbury School, which caters for girls with serious learning and emotional difficulties – a closure which courts ruled illegal and halted. Illegal. Get that – Hekia Parata, the Education MINISTER, is either not aware of the laws regarding school closures or is wilfully ignoring them and hoping to get away with it. Either way, it’s not a good look.
Beaten and demoralised by 2 years of quakes, apparently this was a fabulous time to propose closures and mergers of Canterbury schools. The facts are well known, but for anyone who has been on the moon or meditating for the whole of last year, just know that schools were listed as having buildings they did not have, had long jump pits listed as liquefaction, were refused requests under the Official Information Act because of advice from Hekia Parata and the Ministry urging Christchurch Council to, well, obfuscate, fudge and fib their way into NOT giving any information out. Again the courts ruled that the behaviour was … you guessed it … illegal.
STRIKE THREE FOR HEKIA.
Next bit of dodgy dealing – the way Charter Schools are being foisted on NZ. How utterly underhand to have the consultation period in the school holidays. Oh wait, didn’t they do that in Christchurch, too… it’s almost as if it was done on purpose… go figure. The panel supposedly considering whether we should have Charters, and if so, what form they they should take, is being overseen by John Banks’ bedfellow Catherine Isaacs and the panel has not one teacher, principal, or any other education expert on it. Yeah, that sounds mighty impartial to me.
So there you go… a terrible year.
Oh wait… what’s that you say…?
Did someone whisper Novapay? What? It was rolled out despite advice that it should not be? What? Errors are still in the thousands after months of being live? But Hekia fronted up and tried to sort it out, eh, so that’s something…. WHAT! She got an underling to take the flack? AND she beggared off on holiday without a by your leave? But she’s back now, eh, and sorting it ou….EH!!!! She’s still away? After a month.
Says it all, doesn’t it.
Really, just what do you have to do in the National Party to be given the boot?
Well, judging by the huge spike in activity on the blog and Facebook page, I can categorically say this is another one of those weeks for NZ education.
On an Up!
The week began with David Shearer’s speech outlining Labour’s stance on many of the main educational policies currently being foisted on NZ by National, and oh what a speech. Finally Labour caught the public’s eye and people other than educators began to ask questions. Thank goodness, and not before time.
Then, while we were all riding high on a wave of hope, Aunty Paula announced another of her beneficiary bashing policies, this time making it sound like anyone on benefit has no clue how to raise a child and must be threatened into action, whereas anyone not on benefit can do as they please. I’m not saying there aren’t those out there that need guidance, help and even a sizeable nudge to give their kids a fair chance at health and education, but to tar everyone on benefit with that brush is outrageous, and the policy itself, well man what a totally cruel way to go about ‘helping’ people.
Meanwhile John Banks was getting deeper and deeper in the mire thanks to his dodgy or, more likely, selective memory regarding anonymous donations, and calls for his resignation (yeah like that would ever happen) or sacking got louder and louder and are still bouncing off the deaf ears of John Key.
But surely that was as bad as it could get in one week?
Information, misinformation, confusion, and distress. That’s the only way to put it, and Christchurch has had enough. No-one is arguing that changes weren’t inevitable given the quakes and the aftermath, but the way it was dealt with caused and is still causing such distress and surely could have been handled better. Calls are coming from far and wide for an explanation of what is being discussed, what has already been decided, and how those conclusions were come to.
The Green Party is worried that the Government is exploiting the crisis in Christchurch to push through their unpopular education agenda – read here and are demanding clarity regarding the criteria for deciding the schools’ futures – read more here.
I can’t begin to imagine what will happen in the weeks ahead, especially for Canterbury, but one thing’s for sure,
people are not happy. Not at all. And more voices are starting to whisper one simple but very important question…
I have no problem at all with people having faith in whatever god or gods they want. Everyone has the right to believe in their own thing freely. I’ve taught in a school that was predominantly Muslim students, one with a strong Christian faith, and have had a Jehovah’s Witness come into class and talk about how they celebrate Easter.
What I do have a problem with is when public schools and public funds are used to promote one particular religious standpoint as the truth. Public money should not be used for indoctrination into any faith.
Enter John Banks and his plan for Charter Schools.
As Associate Education Minister he has enormous sway over the future education policies of our country. Right now he is pushing through his plans for Charter Schools, with the promise of choice for parents and fabulous leaps in improvement for students. He talks of the ‘tail of achievement’ and how the heralding of this new era will mean those children with the lowest levels of education will suddenly be engaged, interested, motivated students.
I’m going to resist the urge to go into that in any depth right now, or to lend time to considering why a man who has spoken so very badly about people in the ‘tail’ in the past now suddenly has an interest in ‘helping’ them. Instead, I will just ponder why this man is trying to get another layer of schools added into our education system.
Let’s consider religion and science and how they Charter Schools will be allowed to treat those areas:
We already have provision for special faith schools in New Zealand, but even they must work within the curriculum of learning about other beliefs, other standpoints, and scientific research.
One has to wonder, then, why we are adding in this new layer that allows such narrow views.
And we really do need to consider the potential damage it will do to the chance of children receiving a well-rounded education.
To listen to John Banks on Charter Schools and religion, click here.
For more in world Religions, see here.
If you want to know what the opposition to charter schools is all about, you would do well to spend half an hour watching/listening to the news below. There are a wide range of people represented – teachers, union leaders, academics, and John Banks…
TV3 News – The proposed charter schools are already causing controversy, with one academic condemning them as being “pigs”. Watch here.
TV3 news – The Government’s new charter schools scheme means the first sponsored schools are likely to open in 18 months. Watch here.
TV3 News – The Government announces that charter schools will be allowed to employ unqualified and unregistered teachers. Watch here.
Radio Live – John Banks Associate Minister of Education. Banks said that the government has ambitious targets to meet and he feels that charter schools are the wat forward. 2 August 2012. Listen here.
One News – Charter schools to employ unregistered teachers. Watch here.
YouTube video – Packaged highlights of the New Zealand Ministerial Working Group on Charter Schools’ public meeting held at the Otahuhu College Hall in South Auckland on 21 May 2012. Don’t miss the next public meeting to discuss charter schools in NZ at 7pm, Wednesday 22 August, at the Shirley Intermediate Hall, Shirley, Christchurch. Watch here. And there is a good speech by Brigid Raymond here.
Do feel free to add any further links of your own, as comments, no matter what your viewpoint.